2,000+ Free Mindfulness Exercises

Forty Five Minute Meditation

Forty Five Minute Meditation – Just Bells 15 Minute Intervals

Available for download, audible media of 45-minute meditation with just bells. The 15-minute intervals are good for parts of relaxation Read More
Rain of compassion

RAIN of Compassion

Tara Brach leads a guided heart meditation: RAIN of compassion. Begin with sensing the heart's intention to awaken the heart Read More
Mindfulness meditation

Ripples of Happiness

Matthew Brensilver talks about Ripples of Happiness. Practicing in the spirit of generosity and compassion deeply benefits not just others Read More
mindfulness exercises

The Magic of Awareness – Talk

Anam Thubten talks about the gift of awareness and the hindrance of the ego. How this awareness can do magic Read More
Two kinds of happiness

Two Kinds Of Happiness

Tara Brach talks about the topic Two Kinds of Happiness. The Buddha said I teach one thing only, and that Read More
Pain & recurring thoughts

Pain & Recurring Thoughts

Tara Brach holds a Q&A session about Pain and Recurring Thoughts during meditation. There are times when pain is manifested Read More
Mindfulness exercise

Gratitude

Rick Hanson talks about Gratitude. It's a sort of a catchword for gladness, satisfaction, and fulfillment. These feelings are the Read More
Right Concentration

Right Concentration

Shaila Catherine quotes the Buddha, "concentration is to understand things the way it is." When the mind is steady, it Read More
Good Fortune, Bad Fortune

Good Fortune, Bad Fortune

Phillip Moffitt tells a story about fortune: good or bad and leads us to a liberating paradox of mindfulness. How Read More
Daily Practices for Love and Happiness

Daily Practices for Love and Happiness

Everyone wants to be loved. There is no one who does not want love. The same is true for happiness. Read More
How To Increase Optimism

How To Feel Balanced

Sharon Salzberg talks about How to Feel Balanced. It's the truth that liberates, not the efforts to be free. The Read More
Mindfulness for holiday stress

The Earth and the Buddha

The Buddha's teachings are considered to be a path to freedom in the heart and the mind. And the earth Read More
Gil Fronsdal

Journey of 3 Breaths

Gil Fronsdal leads a Guided Meditation Journey of 3 Breaths. Sometimes it's useful to be very modest with your meditation. Read More
Welcome Your Body Home

Welcome Your Body Home

Spring Washam talks about the topic Welcome Your Body Home. It's about the benefits of meditation, how the mind can Read More
Increasing Loving Kindness

Increasing Loving Kindness

Sean Fargo leads a guided meditation to increase Loving Kindness. This meditation expresses the kind wishes from the heart, which Read More
Lessons from Nature

Nature: Tropical Waves

Nature Sound: Tropical Waves. Hear the rolling waves as the winds of the sky commands its movement. They touch your Read More
mindfulness exercises guided meditation 7

Guided Loving Kindness Meditation

Sharon Salzberg leads a guided loving-kindness meditation. She urges to feel loving, care and acceptance of self. To grasp happiness Read More
Lesson from Nature, Relaxing Your Breathing

Relaxing Your Breathing (Binaural Beat)

Binaural Beat for Relaxing Your Breathing. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are Read More
Gil Fronsdal

Guided Body Scan

Gil Fronsdal instructs the alert posture before starting the guided body scan meditation. Taking long slow in-breaths to connect with Read More
Mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness & Pain 3: Cultivating Wisdom

Oren Sofer talks about Cultivating Wisdom as Part 3 of Mindfulness & Pain. To understand suffering, we need to listen Read More
Fear and Doubt

Fear and Doubt

Ajahn Sumedho talks about Fear and Doubt. Fear is something that arises from not knowing and uncertainty. Doubt arises from Read More
Equanimity

Equanimity

Donald Rothberg discusses the nature of Equanimity, what are the challenges and difficulties, & why it is important. Equanimity is Read More
The Multiplication of Courage

Working With Fear

The topic of working with fear shows the liberating power of the Dharma. Guy Armstrong says fear has haunted human Read More
Gil Fronsdal Guided Anapanasati Meditations

Guided Anapanasati: Relating to the Breath

Gil Fronsdal leads an Anapanasati Relating to the Breath. Take a couple of minutes to have a conversation with yourself, Read More
Hardwiring happiness

Hardwiring Happiness

As people internalize experiences of gratitude, they gradually become less greedy, less driven to prove themselves. Learn to hardwire your Read More
Mindfulness as strength

Mindfulness as Strength

Gil Fronsdal talks about Mindfulness as Strength. Being careful and paying attention to what's happening in the present. Otherwise, there's Read More
Spiritual Journey

Spiritual Journey

Donald Rothberg leads the spiritual journey meditation towards perfecting mindfulness. To look deeply to oneself takes more courage than the Read More
The Way It Is

The Way It Is

Ajahn Sumedho talks about The Way It Is. He talks about lifestyle as a Buddhist monk, the mindful state of Read More
Lesson from Nature

Menstrual Cramp Relief (Binaural Beat)

Binaural Beat for Menstrual Cramp Relief. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are Read More
Self-Compassion Meditation

Self-Compassion Meditation

This meditation by Kristin Neff is a variant of the classic loving-kindness meditation but tailored particularly on self-compassion. Read More
Flowering of Compassion

You Are Not Your Fault

Wes Nisker talks about the topic You Are Not Your Fault. Wes explains that our existence is no accident, that Read More
Concentrate

Increasing Focus

Sean Fargo leads a guided meditation about Focused Attention. When the attention wanders, just come back to the breathing. It Read More
Practicing with Anger

Practicing with Anger

Practicing anger is a crucial theme in practice. There are many reasons for anger being quite confusing and yet being Read More
Secret of contentment

It’s OK

Gil Fronsdal talks about It's OK. In saying OK, you can release the self from a lot of traps. To Read More
Noting Your Emotions

Noting Your Emotions

Kristin Neff leads a guided meditation Noting Your Emotions. It's a practice of noting whatever arises in the experience. First, Read More
Equanimity, The Sweet Joy Of The Way

Equanimity, The Sweet Joy Of The Way

Spring Washam leads a guided meditation on Equanimity: The Sweet Joy of the Way. Equanimity is the quality of mind Read More
The Dragon and the 10 Gowns

The Dragon and the 10 Gowns

Jack Kornfield talks about how Buddha teaches the transformation of suffering into joy. He then proceeds to tell the story Read More
Sleep Appreciation – Meditation

Sleep Appreciation – Meditation

Allow your body and mind to drift into complete and total rest; letting go of any visuals in your mind's Read More
Standing and Walking Meditation

Standing & Walking Meditation

Tara Brach leads a guided Standing & Walking Meditation. It's a wonderful way to feel being present when standing or Read More
Gil Fronsdal

The Space Between

Gil Fronsdal leads a Guided Meditation The Space Between. In meditation practice sometimes we discover space can be inspiring, physically Read More
Lesson from Nature

Nature: Jungle Adventure

Nature Sounds: Jungle Adventure. Just outside your tent, you find yourself listening to birds and creatures of the forest. Sunlight Read More
Forty Five Minute Meditation

Forty Five Minute Meditation – Just Bells With 5 Minute Intervals

Available for download, audible media of 45-minute meditation with just bells. The 5-minute intervals are good for parts of stress Read More
Dharmette by Gil Fronsdal

Dharmette: Practicing with Imagination

Gil Fronsdal leads a Guided Meditation Dharmette: Practicing with Imagination. Yes can be called an attitude to being present and Read More
Knowing that Attention is Present

Knowing that Attention is Present

Phillip Moffitt leads a meditation to attention mindfulness awareness, to be mindfully aware of the occurring, to know the occurrence Read More
Mindfulness for holiday stress

Introduction to Drawing Yourself

Marcia Rose introduces the "drawing yourself" exercise. First is to draw a part of yourself, either the hand or the Read More
Focused attention

Focused Attention & Concentration

Sean Fargo leads a guided meditation focused attention and concentration. This meditation is useful to increase focus and mindfulness. Read More
overcome addiction binaural beats

Overcome Addiction (Binaural Beat)

Binaural Beat to Overcome Addiction. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are played Read More
Filling Your Cup – Meditation

Filling Your Cup – Meditation

Do you think you feel empty and forgotten to appreciate things in your life? You can always come to this Read More
Dharmette by Gil Fronsdal

Dharmette: Self Conscious

Gil Fronsdal leads a Guided Meditation Dharmette: A short instruction being mindful, Abide Conscious not Self Conscious. Be Conscious, not Read More
Evolving Together

Evolving Together

"If you think you're too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito."-Dalai Lama. This talk is about Read More

The Power of Mindfulness Exercises

Though the term mindfulness might sometimes feel to be a relatively new term to arrive in collective consciousness, it is a practice that has been understood for centuries in other countries and communities of the world. While Western society as a collective is only just beginning to scratch the surface of what mindfulness really is and the widespread implications it has, Buddhists and Hindus have understood its powers for thousands of years, seeing mindfulness as a potent tool for transformation and deeper life understanding.

For reasons that are quite understandable, more and more people are starting to explore this powerful practice as the fast-paced and highly interconnected world is leaving us feeling more disconnected from ourselves and from the world around us. As we begin to tap into our own personal mindfulness practice, we begin to intuitively understand how and why this teaching has held strong throughout millennia.

Observing the Nature of Reality

Mindfulness calls us to take a closer look at the present moment – exactly as it is. Through our direct experience, with preconditioned beliefs and ideas set aside, we expand our field of awareness by observing whatever we can sense in this very moment. Some of the ways we can tune into the present moment mindfully include basic techniques such as:

  • Drawing awareness to the breath
  • Witnessing thoughts and emotions without attachment
  • Observing bodily sensations, both surface and visceral
  • Tuning into each of our five senses without judgment and without seeking anything in particular
  • Compassionately and non-judgmentally interacting with whatever is present in the moment

Though it might at first seem simple, the truth is that it is and it isn’t. Much of the world, and the majority of the Western world specifically, has not been raised to interact with the world in a mindful way. It is a concept and a way of being that has not yet influenced most societies on a major scale. Learning to tune into the world mindfully is therefore a big step for many people and as such, it is a slow and continually evolving process. Mindfulness is a completely different way of being than most of us are used to and this is what can make it appear challenging.

However, with that said, it is a simple practice that once explored in a meaningful way has countless benefits, extending outwards from the core of our being like a ripple in water. Not only does everything in one’s immediate life change, so too does the surrounding environment. By quietly beginning to observe the stories we tell ourselves and tune into the assumptions we make about the world around us, we start to gain power over our thoughts, unveiling the true potential of mindfulness.

The Power of the Mind

While it might be commonly thought that our thoughts are a product of who we are, the assumption deserves deeper exploration. In mainstream Western culture, we often don’t probe our thoughts, leaving them to direct the show of our lives. We take them on as if they are our own, allowing them to speak for who we are. These unexamined thoughts influence our beliefs and our actions and the external world reflects back whatever energy we are radiating outwards. 

Mindfulness practice helps us to observe the opposite – to understand that our thoughts are not, in fact, an expression of who we truly are. Instead, our thoughts are viewed as separate energy bodies that do not belong to us. Though they are largely formulated by residue from our personal history and from the culture of our human and societal collective at large, our thoughts are not ultimately fixed and they are not “true” in any absolute sense.

When left unchecked, the conditioned and habitual mind makes all of our executive decisions. Through mindful observation of these mental movements, we begin to take some of that power back. When thoughts arise suggesting words to be said and actions to be taken, mindfulness intervenes as our ability to quietly observe the rest of that experience. At any moment, we might silently, compassionately, and non-judgmentally inquire:

  • What is arising in the silence?
  • What sort of energy is observable in the mind?
  • How does the physical body feel right now?
  • Is there movement towards or away from something?
  • What feelings or emotions are present within me right now and where?

Without seeking clear answers, mindfulness provides space for pure awareness of the present moment to arise. When we are mindful, we might pick up on subtle energies and deeper insights that the mind might not normally wish to address, such as:

  • Unhealthy decisions made based on cravings
  • Avoidance of opportunities for growth based on fear
  • Repressed emotions influencing our actions and decisions
  • Attachment patterns resulting from fear of being alone
  • Judgment of others to avoid looking within
  • Fear of being unloved, unaccepted, or rejected

These are only just a few of the infinite insights that can arise from mindfulness practice. While we might also be able to witness some of these ideas or notions without practicing mindfulness consistently, they resonate on a deeper level when we observe them from the heart space rather than from the mind. When we are quiet and approach whatever is present without rationalization, fear, or judgment, the power these observations hold is exponentially greater than when deduced from mental analysis. What we then come to know holds true power to transform our lives.

The Healing Powers of Mindfulness Exercises

Once we have tapped into mindful exploration of the self, mindfulness has the power to heal on numerous levels. As a human collective, we are beginning to understand how interconnected the mind and body really are, making mindfulness practices incredibly beneficial for physical ailments. On the level of the human body, mindfulness has countless positive benefits, including:

  • Reduction of one’s experience of pain, nausea, and fatigue
  • Lowered levels of the stress hormone, cortisol
  • Increased levels of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), a calming brain neurotransmitter
  • Increased gray matter density in brain regions associated with emotional regulation, learning, memory, and perspective
  • Improved sleep habits and reduction of insomnia
  • Improved immune system functioning
  • Reduced blood pressure and lowered risk of heart disease

On a mental and emotional level, the potential for mindfulness to transform is just as powerful. As we start to observe the habitual patterns of the mind, we gain greater awareness and subsequent control over our thoughts and our responses to life. This heightened awareness, paired with the effects that mindfulness has on the physical body (such as reducing stress hormones and influencing the brain), is a large part of what leads to transformation of mind. Regularly observed effects of mindfulness practice include:

  • Greater capacity for focus and attention
  • Greater acceptance for the present moment
  • Deeper insights and powerful realizations
  • Deeper sense of connection to self and to the world around
  • Greater overall experience of peace and harmony

Mindfulness touches each individual in a different way. Where there is authentic willingness to open ourselves up to whatever exists in the present moment, there is great potential for transformation. Insights and growth cannot be forced, however; rather, when we surrender to whatever exists, wisdom unveils itself.

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”

- Brené Brown -

The Path of Presence

In her poem ‘When Death Comes’, Mary Oliver writes:

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

Mindfulness is, in essence, this sort of movement through, or interaction with, life. It is a wholehearted acceptance of whatever exists; it is a path of presence. As we learn to become more mindful in our everyday lives, not solely when in moments of meditation, we start to understand what it means to live in the present moment. Though feelings, thoughts, and emotions will continue to arise, our relationship to them changes. We become more curious about everything that exists in the present moment. Tendencies to judge, suppress, or reject things we ‘don’t like’ or deem to be ‘bad’ begin to lessen; instead, we practice the art of quietly sitting with whatever appears to be happening.

Exploring the Power of Mindfulness

We can explore the power of mindfulness is numerous ways. From sitting meditations to written, reflective free mindfulness exercises, the paths of transformation through mindfulness are numerous and intertwining. Here are a few ways to explore the power of this practice.

1. Mindful Self-Inquiry

Even though mindfulness is commonly associated with meditation, mindful reflection on our observations can help to enhance our understanding of the mind and the ultimate nature of reality. To practice, take some quiet time to sit with these questions or to write down your answers. Let whatever comes come with judgment or analysis. Inquire:

  • What do you believe about yourself? Why do you believe these things, and would you label them as “truth”? Are these beliefs fixed or fluid?
  • What exists within your body right now? As you draw your attention to a particular sensation, does the sensation change at all? If you draw your attention away from this area, does the sensation change at all?
  • If you were to wipe the slate of your personal story clean, what would remain? What can you observe in the silent space created when all stories, beliefs, and ideas falls away?

2. Emotional Awareness and Acceptance

When difficult emotions rise to the surface, we often struggle to accept them. Part of the freedom that arises from mindfulness comes when we learn to accept whatever exists – “good” or “bad.” When emotions arise, practice:

  • Taking a step away from the outside world but sitting comfortably in an upright position and tuning into whatever is present. Note any stories or plot lines weaving themselves through your direct experience; tune into the raw sensation instead.
  • Note the emotions that are arising by simply labelling them, “anger,” “grief,” “irritation,” or whatever may be applicable. Refrain from attaching the I-self to these energies.
  • Draw your attention to the heart space, opening yourself up compassionately to whatever your experience is. Mindfully ease any judgment that arises and simply allow yourself to be right where you are without attaching to the energy that is there.

3. Become the Observer

We spend countless hours thinking – thinking about what we want to do next in life, thinking about ourselves, others, and the world, and thinking about everything we pass by in our lives. Left unchecked, thinking runs our lives.

  • Practice becoming the observer of your thinking by watching your thoughts as if they were weather patterns. Like the weather, thoughts move constantly, and as we begin to become more aware of their impermanence, they loosen their grip on our beliefs and our actions. When thoughts arise, simply acknowledge them by silently whispering, “I see you,” and then letting them go. Acknowledge and release. Acknowledge and release.

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